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Genital Herpes Health Center

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Genital Herpes - Home Treatment

To reduce discomfort from herpes sores:

  • Take warm sitz baths or wash the area with warm water 3 or 4 times a day.
  • In between sitz baths, keep the sores clean and dry.
  • Using a hair dryer to dry off the sores may be more comfortable than using a towel.
  • Wear cotton underpants, which absorb moisture better than those made from synthetic material.

Nonprescription medicines, such as aspirin and ibuprofen (Advil), may reduce the pain and fever from genital herpes.

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The Basics About Genital Herpes

Genital herpes is a disease caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV), of which there are two types. Type 1 (HSV-1) usually causes oral herpes, an infection of the lips and mouth. Symptoms are commonly known as cold sores or fever blisters. In the past, HSV-1 was not known to cause genital herpes, but that is changing, especially among people who begin having sex at a young age. Still, in most cases, genital herpes is caused by the second type of herpes virus (HSV-2). HSV-2 lives in the...

Read the The Basics About Genital Herpes article > >

To lower the risk of recurrent outbreaks, reduce or avoid things that trigger outbreaks, such as fatigue, stress, overexposure to sun, and irritation of the genital area.

Coping with your feelings

Finding out that you have genital herpes may cause you to have negative thoughts or feelings about yourself or about sex, such as:

  • Feeling ashamed or embarrassed.
  • Being afraid of the consequences of the infection.
  • Being angry at the person who infected you.
  • Feeling frustrated with treatment or recurrent outbreaks.
  • Feeling scared to have sex.

A counselor or support groups for people with herpes may be helpful.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: December 20, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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